Covid-19 Antigen Rapid Test


What used to be pre-event cocktails may now become pre-cocktail Covid testing with the advent of several antigen rapid test (ART) kits for consumers on the Singapore market.  

We testdrove the Panbio Covid-19 Antigen Self-Test made by Abbott to see how suitable it would be for use before events.  The kit, sold at selected pharmacies (we got ours from Guardian) has 10 swab tests in it.  

The pharmacist ran through the process briefly with us pre-purchase and reminded us to put aside about half an hour for the process, as well as not to carry it out in strong sunlight.

The process was fairly basic:

  • Prepare a swab and fill a test tube with a buffer liquid
  • The swab must be inserted about 2cm into each nostril (until resistance is felt) and swirled 5 times on each side
  • Then the swab is swirled in the buffer liquid in the test tube and the tip of the swab is broken off and left in the tube
  • At this point, one can open the test kit.  Ensuring no bubbles in the test tube, one can open the bottom cap of the test tube and drip 5 drops of the liquid into the test kit well.
  • The dye will proceed to spread across the test window but 15 minutes (and not more than 20 minutes) must elapse before the test can be read.
  • The control line (C) shows that the test is working.  If there is a pink test line (T) the result must be considered positive, even if the line is faint.  The tester should proceed to seek medical attention immediately.

Our tester reported that the test was fairly convenient and quick.  Owing to his sensitive nose he sneezed a couple of times after withdrawing the swab, but apart from that, found the process painless.  

At the relatively more reasonable cost of $10 – $13 a test, such ARTs may be the way to go for quick pre-event testing in the future!

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